Students Raise Money for 80-Year-Old Custodian To Finally Retire | My Modern Met

By Regina Sienra on February 27, 2023

Photo: Greyson Thurman via GoFundMe

It goes without saying that this man should be able to retire peacefully.

Retirement is an incredibly important milestone in a worker’s life. That’s why it’s heartbreaking to learn that the goal posts have been moved for someone. An 80-year-old man from Texas identified as Mr. James had retired sometime ago. However, when his rent was raised by $400, he found himself having to go back into the workforce to make ends meet, taking up a janitorial job at Callisburg High School. After starting the job in January, he was spotted by a group of students, who decided to start a campaign to help Mr. James retire for good.

A senior student named Greyson Thurman posted a TikTok video of Mr. James walking down the school halls beside his custodial cart. Worried for him, he captioned the video with a  plea: “This is our 80 y/o janitor who had his rent raised and had to come back to work. Let’s help Mr. James out!” Thurman also shared that he and fellow senior Marti Yousko had created a GoFundMe campaign, adding, “No one his age should have to be cleaning our messes up to continue to live.”

The teens set a $10,000 goal for the campaign, hoping the community and their fellow students would pitch in. “Hey guys I’m having a fundraiser for our janitor who is struggling to pay his rent. He had to leave retirement to continue to pay his rent that was raised. Just a little will change his life!!” Thurman wrote on February 15, not knowing how far their efforts would go.

The story moved so many people that they met and surpassed the goal in no time, reaching over $240,000 in less than 10 days. “We knew being in a small town like Callisburg that people would want to help and people would want to support us, especially with something like this, but I don’t think we ever imagined that there’d be like news channels here,” Yousko told KDFW. “When we told him [Mr. James], he was kind of like, ‘Dang, that’s alright!’”

With their efforts, they’ve reached more than enough to set Mr. James for life. While he declined speaking to the media, the school’s principal relayed that the custodian is very appreciative of what these students have done. “Thanks so much to everyone that has donated and spread the word to help Mr. James,” Thurman wrote in the GoFundMe campaign. “You all have made a huge impact on him that will forever change his life.” The campaign officially concluded on February 24, and raised a total of $270,905; greatly exceeding the initial goal.[…]

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1 Response to Students Raise Money for 80-Year-Old Custodian To Finally Retire | My Modern Met

  1. Things like this should be part of the mainstream media news. On the one hand it is a good example, on the other hand it gives people back the belief in mankind. But all we hear is about the negative, which, of course, can’t be denied, but still …

    Liked by 1 person

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